Two exhibition games set for Citi Field

Two exhibition games set for Citi Field

NEW YORK -- The Mets may open next season on the road, in Cincinnati, but they will make a splash at home long before then. Citi Field will play host to two charity exhibition games between the Mets and the Red Sox to conclude the team's Spring Training schedule, christening the ballpark before the regular season begins.

The Mets on Wednesday announced their entire Spring Training schedule, including games on April 3-4 against the Red Sox at Citi Field. The Mets will donate net ticket-sale proceeds from those two games to the Police Athletic League and other area charities.

That will follow a 32-game Grapefruit League schedule that begins on Feb. 25 against the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and ends on April 2 against the O's at Tradition Field. Spring Training travel will be heavy this year for the Mets, considering that two of their Grapefruit League neighbors, the Dodgers and Indians, recently departed for the Cactus League in Arizona.

The Mets will play the Cardinals and Marlins, geographically their two closest opponents, a combined 10 times. They also will play the Nationals and Orioles six times, the Braves four times and the Astros and Tigers three times each. In addition, the Mets will host games against the University of Michigan and Team Italy of the World Baseball Classic.

Though final Classic rosters have not officially been announced, several Mets, including Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana and new closer Francisco Rodriguez, are expected to play. Those players could miss up to three weeks of the Grapefruit League schedule.

The Mets will open their regular season on April 6 in Cincinnati before returning to New York for their home opener -- and the grand opening of Citi Field -- on April 13 against the Padres.

Yet, fans can experience Citi Field before then, at a 6:10 p.m. ET exhibition game on April 3 and a 1:10 p.m. game on April 4 against the Red Sox. Single-game tickets will be available at discount prices and will go on sale in the coming weeks.

The Mets have not concluded their exhibition schedule with a game in New York since 2003, when they hosted the Orioles at Shea Stadium. The Red Sox had a similar end to their Spring Training schedule last season, when they played the Dodgers three times in Los Angeles, including a game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.